"Anna Karenina" is the classic when it comes to romance and affairs
of the heart. But
this being written by Leo Tolstoy and not Aaron Spelling, it moves at a
slower, PBS sort
of pace. Everything about it is nonetheless beautiful. Anna is a beautiful
married aristocrat whose empty love life is filled by the dashing Count
course, I adored Sean Bean as Count Vronsky. It was Bean's ability to carry
nineteenth century military uniform in the PBS series "Sharpe's Rifles"
that got him
noticed for this role as aristocrat and officer. I was surprised to find
that this was the
same guy who was thoroughly hate-able as the villain in "Patriot Games"
and as 006 in
"Goldeneye". Because she had worked so wonderfully with him on
Gibson recommended Sophie Marceau for the title role. Mel should have gotten
casting credit for involving all the people he has worked with previously.
It was his Icon
Productions that green lighted the film.
The desperate love of Vronsky and Karenina is juxtaposed to that of their
and Kitty. It is said that Levin is the closest to being an autobiographical
Tolstoy and his is the most sensitive. Levin is portrayed by Alfred Molina
and he gives
one of the film's highlights when he wordlessly displays his inability to
wife's anguish during birth and her almost immediate outpouring of love
when their child
is born. Alfred Molina can play absolutely anything and recently has. When
I caught up
with him in New York, he said that he wants his next role to be on a cruise
he "gets to sleep a lot." In case you can't place him, he was
the Mexican hunting Mel
Gibson in "Maverick", the guide who tried to bargain with Harrison
Ford in the rolling
rock scene of "Raiders of the Lost Ark", a scientist in the recent
"Species" and is the
haunted, jaded Levin.. As each character deals with finding their life's
that is the most obvious and Anna's the most touching.
If you are a true film buff, you have to go see this just because Danny
Huston plays the
role of Anna's brother, Stiva. This is writer/director Huston's first speaking
role so he can
now add 'actor' to his resume just as his father, the legendary John Huston,
did. Or you
could go see it because it is the first Western film to be made entirely
Russia. The architecture and scenery is worth it. When Kitty enters the
through ornate hall after ornate hall, you know this isn't a sound stage.
This is the real
thing! Yes, the PBS pacing doesn't do much for my MTV attention span, but
try to sit
back, enjoy the train ride. Rated R. Warner Bros.